Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Smoked Cod en Croute with Mashed Veg

Smoked cod in pastry is served on mixed mashed root vegetables

I love smoked fish of many different types, from mackerel, to salmon, to white fish such as cod or haddock. One rule I normally have, however, when buying smoked white fish is that I will never buy the artificially dyed stuff with its awful, yellow tinge. Quite why fishmongers/supermarkets do this is totally beyond me as far from making the fish look more attractive, I honestly believe it makes it look artificial and almost radioactive. In this instance, however, I made an exception for the simple reason that I had already decided to prepare this dish and I couldn't actually get hold of any un-dyed smoked cod or haddock. If you do choose to make this dish at home, I recommend you get smoked fish without the dye from your supplier.

Smoked cod fillet

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 smoked cod fillet piece of around 8 ounces
4 ounces premade puff pastry
Flour for dusting pastry rolling surface
1 small beaten egg for glazing pastry
1 medium baking potato
1 medium carrot
1/4 medium Swede turnip (rutabaga)
Salt and white pepper
1 ounce (1/4 stick) butter
White pepper

Pastry is rolled out on a floured board


Put your oven on to preheat to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Lightly dust a clean dry surface with flour and roll out the pastry to a rectangle large enough that you will be able to wrap the piece of fish.

Cod fillet is laid in centre of egg brushed pastry

Brush the pastry with a little beaten egg and lay the cod fillet in the centre.

Smoked cod is folded in pastry

Carefully lift the pastry sides one at a time to snugly wrap the cod fillet, sealing it on top, Cut away any excess pastry to prevent an overly bulky seam. Sit the package seal side down on an oiled baking sheet and egg wash all exposed surfaces. Carefully cut three small air vent slits on what is now the top of the pastry. Bake in the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden.

Potato, Swede turnip and carrot

Peel the turnip and potato. Top, tail and scrape the carrot.

Peeled and chopped vegetables ready for boiling

Cut all the vegetables in to approximately one inch chunks and add to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a simmer for about twenty minutes until the pieces are just softened.

Smoked cod en croute is rested

When the cod pastry parcel is taken from the oven, it should be lifted to a chopping board with a fish slice and left to rest for a few minutes.

Drain the vegetables, return them to the pot and let them steam off for a few minutes. If you don't let the excess moisture escape in this way, you will have soggy and unappetising mash.

Cod en croute is halved for serving

Cut the cod en croute in half at a forty-five degree angle as shown to form two serving portions.

Vegetables are mashed with white pepper and butter

Add the butter to the steamed off vegetables and season with a little white pepper. Mash with a hand masher.

Mashed mixed vegetables are plated

Divide the mashed vegetables between two deep serving plates to serve as beds for the cod en croute.

Cod should separate easily in to large and succulent flakes

Lift a piece of the cod on to each vegetable bed and serve immediately.